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Black Sky Thinking

Slut Rock? Louise Brown On Using Sexuality & Gender In Metal
Louise Brown , July 2nd, 2012 11:29

The former editor of Terrorizer, Louise Brown, on why female metal stars who bare flesh aren't letting the side down... just their plunging neck lines

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Main photograph of Butcher Babies courtesy of DJ Garibay; portrait of Mares Of Thrace by Colin Hart; photo of Butcher Babies below by Michael Bell

The metal scene loves to categorise itself. You can be black metal, or death metal, and sometimes you can be black/death metal. There’s post-rock, and post-metal and post-hardcore, and metalcore and deathcore and darkwave and crossover thrash and symphonic gothic metal, but the latest genre to come out of the myriad styles of heavy metal is “slut rock”. Slut rock. Ponder that concept just for a few minutes. Are we really surprised? Has the rise of raunch culture finally found its way to the heavy metal world? Was it always there?

Slut rock’s birth came from a new metal band from Hollywood, who dubbed themselves as such in American music magazine Revolver. Butcher Babies, who on their Facebook page namecheck luminaries such as Wendi O. Williams, Pantera and Alice Cooper as influences, have been hailed as the “hottest new metal band” by Hustler journalist Keith Valcourt, a phrase mostly bandied about to give a lil’ journalistic kudos to game-changers and ground-breakers, but in this instance we can safely presume that Valcourt actually meant they were hot, as in bangin’, for Butcher Babies are fronted by Heidi Shepherd and Carley Harvey, two former Playboy TV personalities. Their “hotness”, whether we mean in terms of musical proficiency or varying levels of pulchritudinous quality, was judged by hordes of British metalheads when the duo, backed by members of Amen, Azdachao and Scars Of Tomorrow, played at this month’s Download Festival, where they appeared alongside Metallica, Soundgarden and Black Sabbath.

"We can't go balls out – so we go tits out,” they told Revolver in explanation of their chosen genre moniker. “When girls are perceived as sexual or outspoken, they get labelled sluts, but we embrace those qualities and bring them to our music." Their performance was broadcast on heavy metal’s favourite interweb baiting pit, Blabbermouth, recently and while the music may have whiffed a wee bit of carpark mosh metal of the lowest common denominator, the dual-vocalled frontwomen at least had cojones, despite claiming otherwise. Wearing Lolita-esque frocks with breasts audaciously on display, bar some carefully placed electric tape (ouch), Carley and Heidi flounced through some brilliantly marketed throwdowns to an audience of alpha-males. The upper-echelons of intelligence despaired, or went to watch those bastions of post-feminism Steel Panther on the other stage perhaps?

And while Butcher Babies were cavorting around on a field in Leicestershire, over in Germany, Metalfest saw the European debut of another Californian troop, Huntress. This time, the band looked to metal masters Mercyful Fate, American doomlords Pentagram and Swedish Satanists Dissection for influence, providing a melodic, thrashing Sturm und Drang as their musical bedrock. But, like Butcher Babies, their vocalist was female and in varying states of undress. Jill Janus, a classically-trained opera singer who swapped the farms of upstate New York for the glitz and glamour of LA where she became a DJ for Playboy lothario Hugh Hefner, has a banshee wail that could flay skin and with recent Napalm Records debut Spell Eater has been finding herself cast into the heavy metal spotlight.

Although it may be coincidence that this summer saw the rise of two bands with tenuous links to the sprawling many-tentacled beast that is Playboy Industries, we have to ask ourselves how it came to pass that the silky robed magnate Hef came to dip his toes into rock culture. As an alternative to the over-sexed mainstream, heavy metal always seemed a safe haven for women who did not want to be objectified, either as performer or punter. But while discussing this hypothesis with a friend, it was suggested that it’s perhaps easy to be blind to the airbrushed Amazonian allure of Doro, the dominatrix shtick of Betsey Bitch or if you look further back, the tantalising sex magick of Coven, perhaps because these women are now seen as idols, not sex symbols, but at the time... well, maybe time has rose-tinted our feminist history.

Have metal and rock always been sexualised and should we be shocked when bands like Butcher Babies or Huntress “get em out for the lads”? While Coven, much like her modern day muse in Jill Janus, used spirituality to explain her enchanting eroticism, the ‘80s metal scene was awash with glam metal’s less-than-PC attitude to Girls, Girls and Girls, but the female metal artists, such as Lita Ford, Kate Acid or The Great Kat, were kicking ass, not displaying it. As few as they were, the “Ladykillers”, as Kerrang! Magazine called them, were not paraded around for titillation but were celebrated as goddesses of rock and became more than just wet dream idols but role models for girls too, especially for a certain future metal magazine editor. Even when Page 3 model Sam Fox went AOR it was all fun and frolics, not outwardly exploitative, and she certainly had the jams to back up her jelly.

As 80s metal excess turned to 90s self-exploration the riot grrls made the most noise, mainly because their male counterparts were wearing cardigans and writing poetry and it looked like alternative culture was being streamrollered by the XX chromosome, and not by using feminine wiles; this was the era of cherry red Doc Martens and jumpers knitted by your nan that covered your modesty. The riot grrls did not diet or listen to stylists paid by marketing execs, and when they revealed their bits it was to instigate derision not erection. But in a post-Millennial metal scene, have our female role models regressed back to a pre-feminist mindspace? When did it become okay to bare all to shift units? The 2000s saw a shift toward further acceptance of the female voice in heavy metal, to the point where people would call foul at the use of the term “female-fronted metal”, claiming that we should be past the point of seeing the distinction. And the naysayers had a point; Arch Enemy’s Angela Gossow, with her death metal rumble and biker bitch from hell attitude had very little in common with Cristina Scabbia of Lacuna Coil’s coy gothic sultryness, or Within Temptation chantreuse Sharon den Adel’s pompous Wuthering Heights warble, but all were lumped together in the same “sit at the back of the bus” classification.

We’ve moved on from that: bands like Landmine Marathon, Christian Mistress and Ides Of Gemini can launch their careers free from the “gasp, it’s a chick singing” shock that would have followed them even just five years ago. But lately it seems the raunch has entered the ranch, which poses us two problems likely to get feminists’, post-feminists’ and pre-feminists’ knickers in a labyrinth of twists (whether they be edible thongs or sensible cotton briefs from M&S). First, should we be up-in-arms about something more than a glimpse of side-boob entering our safe-sexed domain? And secondly, who are we to assert our power by forcing the moral high ground on our saucy sisters? Should we all be forced to deny our femininity in jeans and T-shirt? Or should we force our female metal singers to play the virgin and therefore become shackled by the social standard that belittles our own sexual agenda? If raunch culture is the new feminism, are the Butcher Babies and Huntress actually forging a new type of power with their brazenness?

When I first discovered Huntress I thanked the goddesses of sales spikes. At the time I was editor of Terrorizer Magazine, and not only did I warm to their high-octane, high-octave traditional fare that screamed “I’m the new gateway band to get the younger generation into King Diamond” (otherwise known as the holy grail of heavy metal), but I understood that here was a beautiful woman, with blood dripping down her breasts, that would wake my core readers from their World Of Warcraft slump with one slip of a nipple. But then we got the backlash – a lot of my intelligent, politically-correct girlfriends called foul. They accused Huntress of being a gimmick, style over substance and nothing more than a falsetto with fun bags. It made me ponder, why we can't accept a female musician who plays up to a male fantasy ideal? And on the flip-side, can we only find success by sexualising ourselves? And why attack Huntress, when across the border, Canadian sludge duo Mares Of Thrace are being hailed as heroines with their all-girl, swampy, heavy-as-fuck doom dealings, but all the while they kitten purr for the camera in 50s housewife get-up that screams “Come get your cupcakes, boys."

Jill Janus may be less subtle in her witches cape and sangre-sauced boobies, but she cannot be accused of being the only contemporary female musician to use sex to sell. From clothes-shy black metal vixen Possessed Demoness (perhaps not the name she was born with) and Finnish black metallers Anguished to Iranian death metal vixen Somi Arian, they all understand that a glimpse of ankle alone is not sufficient when it comes to self-promotion. But is it the only option? British/Dutch brutal death metal machine Cerebral Bore are fronted by a woman, but you wouldn’t know it from their press photos or marketing machine. Dutch demon-worshippers The Devil’s Blood, cover their nameless singer (she is known by “F The Mouth Of Satan” only) in blood and prevent her from doing interviews so she speaks only through the music, which heightens her power beyond being “sexual” to being nearer to divine.

In discussion on this very topic with Huntress singer Jill, she said “I've heard a few times that a woman doesn't belong on stage as a metal singer. The women who prove themselves and maintain longevity are a different breed. They are rare creatures, not quite human. I am still just breaking into this world, I will need to prove I can stand with the Gods of Metal. If I wanted it to be an easy journey, I'd throw on a Victorian gown; the glorification of mediocrity. Instead, I aspire to be vocally sexless. I have used sorcery to draw you closer to the flame, the costumes I have chosen thus far represent the first phase, The Maiden. I will next evolve into The Mother, and eventually The Crone. There will always be preconceptions and misconceptions about Huntress. That's fine. I'm not here to change the world, I exist and that is enough. I don't betray my sisterhood by showing my flesh, I am Pagan. I embrace nature and nudity. When I feel the fear attempting to take hold of me, I think of a line from Macbeth, ‘...Come, you spirits that tend on mortal thoughts, unsex me here’. That always murders the trolls.”

Feature continues after photograph

Shakespeare aside, you have to wonder if aspiring to Lady Mac’s transgender whimsy or her own ambition to adopt the guise of the crone would have sold Huntress as many records or garnered them as many magazine interviews. Could Mares Of Thrace have omitted the slow pan across drummer Stephanie’s cleavage in the video for their landmark riff-fest ‘General Sherman’ and still had over 20,000 hits? Would Butcher Babies have been invited to ply their trade on Donington Park’s hallowed ground if they’d dressed like Leah from Nadja in a homemade sweater and sensible shoes? And would we miss bemoaning their success as being down to how they dress? Are we embracing “slut rock” as the next movement in feminist theory, or going to bash our sisters for letting the side down and send them care packages of polo-necks and a good-fitting bra?

Beep Beep
Jul 2, 2012 3:57pm

" heavy metal always seemed a safe haven for women who did not want to be objectified" -> Except at Manowar concerts!

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Like, you know?
Jul 2, 2012 8:51pm

I really don't see what the issue is here. Women in metal who make such a big deal about their sexuality and identity rarely have the talent to back it up. That Mares Of Thrace song in the post is sub par crap, for exam

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Like, you know?
Jul 2, 2012 8:55pm

In reply to Like, you know?:

...example. There are plenty of women in metal making great music, you just have to look at Boris or Christian Mistress to see that. The difference is that their sexuality and female identity don't make a difference to the music. They just focus on playing in a band and making music that isn't shit.

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Louise Brown
Jul 2, 2012 9:02pm

In reply to Beep Beep:

There are women at Manowar concerts?

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Daniel Moore
Jul 3, 2012 12:25am

Both overt sexuality and women definitely have their place in metal for sure, however I have my concerns with some of the sexual representations of women. In a world crowded with bands dying for attention, many bands male and female present images of themselves which grab the public and press' attention. Sexy girls grab attention like nothing else.
Five spotty girls in the 'Birmingham Breakdown Brigade' might be crowned 2012's band of the year if they could get the attention of the press and public. The problem is they’re competing for label attention and magazine space with full-page spreads of the 'Brighton Burlesque Bitches', who are just a tad more visually striking.
'Pop music' to use a broad term, while having some of the most blatant examples of tailoring to the male gaze also has artists such as Alanis Morisette, Dido and Adele. You might not like them, but they are at least 'serious' artists. These artists are very feminine and surely showcase sexuality within their music but they don’t fit the typical female body ideal, aren't getting their kit off to sell records and they don’t need to. Those artists appeal to a wide audience and represent the 'everywoman'. The labels, press and public within pop music are mature enough to accept them off the back of their musical quality.
When you see the ‘Brighton Burlesque Bitches’ in a magazine, it's pretty obvious why they are there. It's a shame that there must be so many women trying to break into rock and metal who get totally overlooked due to not meeting visual expectations in a typically male-dominated genre.
One of the few ways of women getting a look-in is by being sexy, and by doing so, the objectification of themselves does their gender no favours in getting female-fronted rock and metal taken seriously by audiences both male and female, and keeps the door shut on female artists which female fans could relate to. All this only serves to reinforce ‘gender in the genre’ stereotypes, keeping many female fans out of the genre. If the audience was broader, perhaps there would be more credible female artists who didn’t have to use sex to sell their wares, and therefore female artists would gain more credibility amongst men. Ultimately it’s a catch 22 situation whereby IT IS a male-dominated genre and I can’t see this changing in the short term.
As businesses, ultimately, the agenda of bands, labels and magazines is to use what sells, and what sells NOW, not to go on a gender equality crusade and attempt to broaden the fanbase at risk of alienating their existing fanbase.

Here’s some good further reading, which was a great resource while I was at university;
Running with the Devil: Power, Gender and Madness in Heavy Metal Music by Robert Walser

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Noel
Jul 3, 2012 8:46am

I wish there was really a band called Birmingham Breakdown Brigade

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Lora Tadine
Jul 3, 2012 8:59am

In reply to Like, you know?:

THIS.

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Lora Tadine
Jul 3, 2012 8:59am

In reply to Like, you know?:

& THIS.

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Stan Lee
Jul 3, 2012 9:05am

Like, you know?'s very simple comment renders the rest of this article / argument completely pointless.

In metal, as with all other forms of music, the "shit tunes / tits out" analogy is entirely transparent to anybody who's not a juvenile idiot, male OR female.

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John Doran
Jul 3, 2012 9:39am

In reply to Stan Lee:

No it doesn't. I mean, yeah, it probably does if all you listen to is hipster metal and Kylesa but for those of us actually into the genre, the subject is a bit more complex. As your complete misunderstanding of it demonstrates.

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Like, you know?
Jul 3, 2012 9:50am

In reply to John Doran:

Yet again, you can't accept another person's opinion. What exactly is hipster metal? I wasn't aware that Boris or Christian Mistress came under this umbrella. I really think it's as simple as my last comment. If you're a man or a woman and you put more focus on your appearance and identity than the music, then you'll inevitably fail. I love metal and have done for the past 15 years or so. Since I was 12.

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John Doran
Jul 3, 2012 9:53am

In reply to Like, you know?:

This is demonstrably untrue and shame on anyone who claims to like metal and then claims that it's all just about the tunes man like some clueless old Rusty's Dumpy Nuts roadie. If you liked metal as much as you claimed then you'd know image, lifestyle, spirtituality etc is INTEGRAL to the genre.

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Like, you know?
Jul 3, 2012 10:15am

In reply to John Doran:

I'm all for personality and character in music. Black metal and corpse paint, SunnO))) and their robes and smoke machine on blast etc. There's a difference between having an image to tie in with your music and using theatrics to just getting your tits out and having no talent to back it up. If the bands mentioned in the article were any good, I'd have no problem with them choosing whatever image they wanted. But they aren't good, and there lies the difference.

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John Doran
Jul 3, 2012 10:22am

In reply to Like, you know?:

I don't really like Huntress too much but to say they're talentless kicks a hole in your argument. Also, Mares of Thrace are excellent and by not being able to or refusing to tell the difference between them and Butcher Babies, you're not doing your argument any favours.

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Like, you know?
Jul 3, 2012 10:34am

In reply to John Doran:

I can't say that any of those bands are my cup of tea. It's my opinion that they are talentless, just as it is the opinion of The Quietus that Mumford & Sons or The Enemy are talentless. Mares Of Thrace sound awful to me, and the cringeworthy video didn't do anything to make me change my opinion. I don't think that kicks a hole in my argument.

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???
Jul 3, 2012 12:44pm

There are so many other amazing bands with women in them that actually have talent. These chicks are just wet dreams for some 14 yr olds who shop at Hot Topic.

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???
Jul 3, 2012 12:46pm

There are so many other amazing bands with women in them that actually have talent. These chicks are just wet dreams for some 14 yr olds who shop at Hot Topic.

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???
Jul 3, 2012 12:46pm

There are so many other amazing bands with women in them that actually have talent. These chicks are just wet dreams for some 14 yr olds who shop at Hot Topic.

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???
Jul 3, 2012 12:46pm

There are so many other amazing bands with women in them that actually have talent. These chicks are just wet dreams for some 14 yr olds who shop at Hot Topic.

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???
Jul 3, 2012 12:46pm

There are so many other amazing bands with women in them that actually have talent. These chicks are just wet dreams for some 14 yr olds who shop at Hot Topic.

Reply to this Admin

???
Jul 3, 2012 12:46pm

There are so many other amazing bands with women in them that actually have talent. These chicks are just wet dreams for some 14 yr olds who shop at Hot Topic.

Reply to this Admin

???
Jul 3, 2012 12:46pm

There are so many other amazing bands with women in them that actually have talent. These chicks are just wet dreams for some 14 yr olds who shop at Hot Topic.

Reply to this Admin

???
Jul 3, 2012 12:46pm

There are so many other amazing bands with women in them that actually have talent. These chicks are just wet dreams for some 14 yr olds who shop at Hot Topic.

Reply to this Admin

???
Jul 3, 2012 12:46pm

There are so many other amazing bands with women in them that actually have talent. These chicks are just wet dreams for some 14 yr olds who shop at Hot Topic.

Reply to this Admin

???
Jul 3, 2012 12:47pm

There are so many other amazing bands with women in them that actually have talent. These chicks are just wet dreams for some 14 yr olds who shop at Hot Topic.

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mspspeak
Jul 3, 2012 1:45pm

The Genitorturers come to mind as an earlier version of some of what these ladies are doing from the 90s metal scene.

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Jon Seymour
Jul 3, 2012 2:48pm

This is a great article, although to be honest, I've not heard of any of the recent bands mentioned. I think females as a rule don't get taken seriously in the metal world, and that's still the main problem. In the last few years, there has been an explosion of female vocalists though, along with a shift in attitudes, and I love a great female vocalist, whatever rock genre they happen to be in.

Sex sells, that much we know, but being an ageing rocker, I wouldn't buy an album just because the singer had her tits out. If the music was good, and she had her tits out, that's another story entirely.... For as long as I can remember, there have been talentless musicians on both sides of the gender fence using sex to sell their music (anyone else remember Jesse Dupree from Jackyl posing in Playgirl? nuff said).

From my personal point of view though, if the music is good enough, it will sell it's self to the die hard metal fans, regardless of the antics of the band, and if it has a 'hot rock chick with her tits out' on the cover, then it'll probably sell to the pre-pubescent teenagers who want to just take it home and jack off.

I say if women want themselves to be objectified, then we should let them, and if they don't, that's cool too. What we shouldn't do though, is support crap music, just because we might get to see a bit of flesh. I've liked rock chicks ever since I saw Suzi Quattro in her leather jeans on TOTP... No flesh on display, but damn sexy none the less ;) Maybe sometimes, things are just best left to the imagination, but one of metal's main messages has always been "do what you want, when you want" and if someone wants to run around a stage stark bollock naked, then we should respect that. If men are allowed to rock out with their cock out, them women should be allowed to do it with their tits out, although it doesn't have the same ring to it.....

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Jon Seymour
Jul 3, 2012 2:49pm

This is a great article, although to be honest, I've not heard of any of the recent bands mentioned. I think females as a rule don't get taken seriously in the metal world, and that's still the main problem. In the last few years, there has been an explosion of female vocalists though, along with a shift in attitudes, and I love a great female vocalist, whatever rock genre they happen to be in.

Sex sells, that much we know, but being an ageing rocker, I wouldn't buy an album just because the singer had her tits out. If the music was good, and she had her tits out, that's another story entirely.... For as long as I can remember, there have been talentless musicians on both sides of the gender fence using sex to sell their music (anyone else remember Jesse Dupree from Jackyl posing in Playgirl? nuff said).

From my personal point of view though, if the music is good enough, it will sell it's self to the die hard metal fans, regardless of the antics of the band, and if it has a 'hot rock chick with her tits out' on the cover, then it'll probably sell to the pre-pubescent teenagers who want to just take it home and jack off.

I say if women want themselves to be objectified, then we should let them, and if they don't, that's cool too. What we shouldn't do though, is support crap music, just because we might get to see a bit of flesh. I've liked rock chicks ever since I saw Suzi Quattro in her leather jeans on TOTP... No flesh on display, but damn sexy none the less ;) Maybe sometimes, things are just best left to the imagination, but one of metal's main messages has always been "do what you want, when you want" and if someone wants to run around a stage stark bollock naked, then we should respect that. If men are allowed to rock out with their cock out, them women should be allowed to do it with their tits out, although it doesn't have the same ring to it.....

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Like, you know?
Jul 3, 2012 3:43pm

In reply to Jon Seymour:

That's a great summary. Do you remember Rock Bitch? There was an example of a terrible band using sex as a complete gimmick, without any of the tunes to back it up.

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Jon Seymour
Jul 3, 2012 3:52pm

In reply to Like, you know?:

I can't say as I do, my shit detector must have gone off WAY before I got to hear them lol

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Stan Lee
Jul 3, 2012 6:16pm

In reply to John Doran:

Yes it does. It's not complex at all. Tits outs = no tunes. Works for me. Fuck you if you don't get it, you're probably too busy wanking off to a Plasmatics VHS anyway.

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I like metal but not shit metal
Jul 4, 2012 2:19am

Just my two cents or less...I haven't heard any of the bands mentioned in this article, but I Googled them to check on naked photos...none so far, btw. And that's the only thing this article made me do. Thanks.

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I like metal but not shit metal
Jul 4, 2012 2:23am

And off topic, when can we see a Future Of The Left review?

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Lup
Jul 18, 2012 12:25pm

Good article. Although I can't believe we are STILL doing this, after all this time. *Facepalm* Slut Rock, seriously?! Keep your clothes on, it's got nothing to do with making music. Thanks a lot girls (Butcher Babies et al), you're really helping readdress the balance of over-sexualisation/ inequality in this arena pandering to a male audience in order further your own careers; next time I get harassed when playing a show, I'll be thinking of y'all. Bellends.

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SPIRITWO
Jul 20, 2012 9:19pm

Good Subject - I believe the most important thing about an Artist is the ART. The music. The 'content'.
What they dress or not - Is just part of a show - a display - an image that portray their ideas - and that also - It can frequently change in time ...
Nothing is 'Wrong' - and there are different type of entertainment - I watch porn, but also art movies :) but i guess - if an artist can provide both - the art with the sexulity -Than he or she is a true god/goddess!!
How one will mix & match the spiritual message with the sex appeal is up to them... and different things work for different people - there is No 'one way' of being sexy...
Also - Some will always stay 'light' entertainment (as not very deep or serious) and other 'a masterpiece' ... no matter in which genre... :))

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TomGar
Jul 22, 2012 4:45pm

I suppose it all boils down to what view of feminism you ascribe to. I know a lot of radical feminists who would probably view Jill Janus as propagating female beauty myths with her garb etc.

Personally I ascribe to a more sex-positive view. Obviously a lot of the women feel empowered by playng (let's face it) OTT music while adding their sexuality to a heady musical brew. That's great and more power to 'em. It's like Pete Steele in Play Girl or Damian from Fucked Up obviously feeling that performing topless adds to the assault of his music. It adds something to the experience for artist and fan.

What's bad is when a woman is not empowered feeling by adding her sexuality to the mix but instead feels like she's coerced into sexualising herself against her will to sell records. Nobody should feel compelled into a sexual situation they're not uncomfortable with and I think we need a metal culture change whereby "women" are not accepted as a homogenous entity but allowed to be diverse. We should be accepting that some women are comfortable with sexualising themselves whereas others aren't. Above all we should be paying attention to the music before the people in the band.

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Damian B
Jul 23, 2012 8:30am

There's no genres in heavy metal and hard rock. It's just media talk. The mention of social networking is a sad joke too: nobody uses that any more except for chavs and mums.

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SakuraandtheSpider
Jul 23, 2012 9:24pm

So I have to kind of wonder (and this isn't a gripe at Louise or her article, but more at the prevailing assumption) as to exactly why when discussing the sexualization that the only acceptable states like at one end of the spectrum or the other? Why does it have to be either a female musican has be either hyper-sexual in her appearance and image, or absolutely not at all? And if she does choose to dress and act in such a way that is sexual, why is the immediate assumption to be that her motivation is to pander to the male chauvinist perspective?

Can there not be any existence in a middle ground for chicks in metal the way there is for me just as a person in life? I mean, fuck, I'm a woman who digs on other women, and I don't have a lot of personal motivation to appear attractive to men for the most part as it serves little purpose for me ultimately. That said, sometimes I simply dig on dressing a little sexified just because I like it, and I like when other women do it, too. A lot of times, (ok, most of the time actually) I just want to wear a pair of fucking cargo shorts and a tee. Whether or not I do one or the other at a given moment isn't really decided based on whatever intentions males might have towards me.

I say, let these women do whatever makes them feel their most powerful and confident because by and large, we all want our metal to be those two things. It doesn't really work in metal to be weak and insecure, so whatever means a musician regardless of gender uses to get to those ends I can support. I'm not going to see a woman with her tits out and automatically assume that's the only trick she has up her sleeve. If that's how she's comfortable - truly comfortable - then that's what should matters first to her, then let things proceed from there.

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O
Jul 24, 2012 5:02pm

The Hot Topic thing.

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O
Jul 24, 2012 5:08pm

I thought the Hot Topic shit died out in the 90's ? They're still dragging this thing along ?

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Scratchy7929
Jul 31, 2012 12:48am

What if the lyrics were more sexualised.Don't hear so much of that with female's or alot of male fronted metal either apart from in a tongue in cheek - ac/dc type of way.Perhaps you get them in Death Metal, but in a brutal / mechanical way in that.Perhap's NIN / Maynard James Keenan / Marilyn Manson do partly, sometimes in a shock rock way.What do you females think of these lyrics of these three when they express themselves in this way.Could (are there any examples) of females using quite openly expressive sexualised lyrics.Surprised females reading this haven't already mentioned this, since females are supposedly emotionally more aware than men are ???? You get alot of metal lyrics based on sorrow / loss but not so much sexual yearnings.You find them more in R&B / dance music.Perhaps I've been listening to the wrong stuff :-P .Metal uses the tritone / devil's interval alot which was said to be banned by the Church because it invoked sexual feeling's (or work of the devil of course).

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Phil D
Aug 4, 2012 9:03pm

Meanwhile, away from all the limelight and marketing fluff, we have bands like Witchsorrow, Jex Thoth and The Wounded Kings making excellent music. Not sure what that says really? Is it that doom metal is a pioneer of sexual equality, or simply that as a genre, it's thankfully free of so much of the "grrr!" macho posturing nonsense of the modern metal mainstream, so people don't actually care what gender the musicians are?

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Dave
Aug 8, 2012 8:44pm

There has long been a dichotomy in hard rock/metal where some female bands/artists are "all about the music", while others play up to the sex kitten thing. Even back in the early 80's, you had the likes of Girlschool, Lita Ford, Pat Benatar while at the other end of the scale you had Oral, a 'band' of former page 3/top shelf magazine models who released one EP which was roundly ridiculed, Cycle Sluts From Hell (4 NYC 'biker chicks' who were once described as 'Motorhead backing Bananarama')and the aforementioned Lisa Dominique, who seemed to appear in Kerrang on a weekly basis wearing less and less clothes as time went by.
The thing now seems, to me at least, to be that certain females are playing up to the classic 80's rock chick image with the sense of empowerment that the riot grrl movement introduced; 'I'm doing this for me and if you have a problem with it, tough'.

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whitey
Aug 9, 2012 8:07pm

Can I refer Louise Brown to early 00's band Ten Minutes With My Dad, who used a combination of hard rock, overt sexuality, nudity, taped breasts, metal imagery, grand guignol and violent physical confrontation of the audience- and used the term 'slut rock' almost a decade ago.

The 'Butcher Bbaies' shot above is a direct copy of their look, i'm serious... look into it.

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KES
Oct 15, 2012 7:49pm

it seems women will never be taken seriously, in metal or rock. they're just a "novelty." sometimes it seems like only males have the "correct" gene to sing with authority, with profundity? it's a shame, really.
thank god for joan jett, is all i can say.
great article, by the way, it struck the right tone.

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william
Dec 7, 2012 12:22pm

Album of the yeaAlbuAlbum of the year!m of the year!r! Scottsdale Maid Service

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GoPro reviews
Jan 8, 2013 8:38am

a phrase mostly bandied about to give a lil’ journalistic kudos to game-changers and ground-breakers, but in this instance we can safely presume that Valcourt actually meant they were hot, as in bangin’ GoPro reviews

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william
Jan 10, 2013 8:13am

" heavy metal always seemed a safe haven for women who did not want to be objectified" -> Except aasdt Manowar concerts! opzioni binarie trading

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